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  1. Hi Marc -- No guess as to the number of different structure/detail/rigging choices I might have made. There are a bunch, though, especially if you count each individual gunport lid. I tip my hat to Piet for even trying to quantify them. As for rigging, the book by R.C. Anderson, The Rigging of Ships: in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720 (Dover Maritime) , available from Amazon for a few bucks, was a godsend when I was rigging the Sovereign of the Seas and the Queen Anne's Revenge. He presents not only the basic English style, but also shows how French {Continental} practice differed. I took it a page at a time and tried to understand each line before moving on to the next. It was slow going, but working from the gammoning up and aft it was doable. If I haven't said so before, that figurehead looks great. Dan
  2. Hi Marc - Well thought out and analyzed. The head structures should come out well with your excellent level of persistence. I do recommend that you fill the gammon holes at this time. The kit ones are much too level, I think, and probably mislocated. The holes should angle up and forward, much like the ones in the St. Phillippe drawing. (The ones on Marc Yeo's model are, I believe, too angled.) I found it nearly impossible to locate and angle the holes on my models until the headrails were planned out precisely, or even until after they were installed. The holes should lie just under and parallel to the lower edge of the lowest headrail. My old eyes think they see them in this location in the drawings. This gives the greatest radius of curvature for the gammoning, and therefore the least strain on the ropes as the ship works in high winds and seas. The holes are angled so the gammoning turns press against each other as they are laced, starting from the aft (lower) end on the bowsprit to the forward (upper) end of the hole. And yes, this does mean that the turns cross over each other, a detail that is hidden by the final frapping turns that tighten them, which explains some of the confusion. You can always reopen the holes if you find that they are correct and I am wrong. (Perish the thought . . . LOL . . . ) Dan
  3. Can't go wrong with Daryl - - - If I say she has a beautiful body, will she hold it against me? Dan
  4. Hi Marc - Your carvings are getting better and better. Sweet! I saw that you are puzzling over the way the mermaid's thighs fit against each other. Do mermaids have thighs or do the legs fuse at the hip level? Dan
  5. Hi Marc - If I understand your problem, there is a geometric solution using a fan-shaped set of lines. I would love to include a drawing, but I don't have access to my library, and I am stumped, at the moment for its name (another senior moment). I am sure that it appears in either Roberts' or Dressel's books on planking. Maybe you already know the trick. If so, ignore this. Here is how I make it, sorry if it's a little long. On graph paper I draw an X-Y pair of lines with their intersection toward the left of the page. I draw another vertical line set some convenient distance away to the right. On the vertical line I make equidistant marks up to as many, or more, than the planks I expect to need. A set of lines from the intersection go to each one of these, making a fan shape. Now any similar vertical line will cross those fan lines an equidistant space from each other, no matter how tall or short. Lay a strip of paper on the fan and mark off the divisions that match the space you want to fill and the number of planks you want. Lay the strip on the deck athwartships and mark out your plank widths. As a possible addition, increase the space for the king plank location on that initial vertical and it will always be proportional to the planks. I have not done this and it may not end up looking like you want. If you are still doing research, you should look for 'coamings' rather than 'combings'. They sound alike, but are very different animals. Stay safe and well. Dan
  6. I'm with Druxey on this. In fact, when carving a figure, either human or animal, I start with the eyes. Nothing sets the tone and realism like them. If I get the eyes wrong, I always discard the piece. Dan
  7. Thanks, Marc - This is a really useful tutorial on miniature carving and should improve the work of everyone who reads it. Looking forward to seeing how all your many intricate carvings come out. Dan
  8. Ron - There is a strong epoxy called JB Weld that I use when I need a strong rigid joint with only a small mating surface. If you can't make a safe trip to the hardware store, I am sure it is available on line. Best of success with a tricky problem. Dan
  9. Ron - You have my most sincere sympathies. Been there, done that, - - thrown the results across the room . . . I saw in an earlier photo that you are using a mini-torch to do the heating. I never liked the one I have. Like you, I had a lot of trouble localizing the melting. Now I use either a resistance soldering unit (Cold Heat) or a small soldering iron used for the electronics industry. It takes a bit longer, but I have much more control over where the heat is and where it isn't. A wet piece of folded paper towel is all I ever need to keep the heat from travelling too far. Best of success. Dan
  10. Hi Marc - Happy to be of some small help. The wood is, if I remember, apple. I used to use a handheld drill as a lathe before I got the benchtop drill press. I set up a piece of wood with a conic depression in it to steady the free end of the dowel as it turned. This does require that either the drill or the wood, or both, need to be clamped in place. Or you will need three hands. Dan
  11. Hi JD - She looks like a sweet boat. I will definitely be following along. Dan
  12. Thanks to all who contributed to this interesting discussion of the whipstaff. I thought I was pretty well versed in its intricacies, but even so I have learned a lot. At the end, I have to agree with Druxey and Dafi that any slot in an upper deck, if needed, would be fairly short. It could be covered, railed, or even with a hood. The one reasonable certainty seems to be that a long slot, as drawn by Leminuer or Budriot, would not be needed. As far as contemporary cutaway drawings go, they are so varied and all over the place that only very general conclusions can be drawn. For example, below is one which my notes identify only as "Phillips - 1690s" It has a very short staff that does not pierce the upper deck at all. Others show the mizzen mast being stepped on the deck above, with the tiller passing under it and extending forward to meet the whipstaff. In that case the pilot's view and communication would not be hampered as much, but the mast might not be as stable. As with many of these issues, I think that shipwrights experimented with various solutions in different ships, so there is probably no one clear 'right' answer. Of course, I could also be completely wrong. 😕 Thanks again, and stay healthy. Dan
  13. Hi Dafi - Your point is well taken. In a large ship or in rough seas it may have been necessary to have more than one handler (helmsman, pilot) for the whipstaff, and a longer staff would give room for them to work together. In my illustration I took the drawing from Goodwin just to show how the head of the staff moves in as much as it moves down, I did not really consider overall length other than to question the need for a long slot in the deck above. As for length, below is a photo of the top of the staff for the Susan Constant, which matches the below deck picture from my earlier post. I know that she was a much smaller ship, but the staff only looks to be 5 or 6 feet long. This agrees with photos of whipstaffs from other recreations, Batavia, Kalmar Nykel, and Mayflower. I have a photo of the highly elaborate rowle from the much larger Vasa, but not the top of the staff, so I can't say how long it was. Perhaps someone knows. As far as the William Rex model - with all respect to the modeler, he has the staff coming up through a simple hole in the deck above, which is unworkable. Dan
  14. Jan - I think we are agreeing in different words. The overlength staff doesn't give more leverage, since the force applied by the helmsman is all athwartships due to the rotation of the rowle on its fore/aft axis. He pushes the head of the tiller to the side by sliding the staff through the rowle, he does not lever it aside. The mechanical advantage is gained by the ratio between the length of the tiller and the width of the rudder. Nor is a longer staff needed to enlarge the arc that the tiller head travels. The swing of the tiller arm is limited by the length of the metal crook or the end of the tiller that the ring on the base of the whipstaff slides down as the helm is put over. When the ring reaches the end button no further movement is possible. The lower photo is from the Susan Constant reconstruction. I went to Google and searched for William Rex. I found many images for the very large model in the Rijksmuseum, but none of the deck with a slot in it. Can you point me to a photo? Thanks Dan
  15. Hi Marc - The whipstaff question is one that I worked on for a while. I have never been happy with the long slot in the deck above (#97 in your illustration). It would weaken the deck and introduce a tripping hazard. If there is such a slot on a contemporary model I have not seen it. Moreover, it is, I believe, completely unnecessary. Here's why - I took contemporary illustrations as well as the measured drawing from Goodwin's "Arming and Fitting". Then I took out various parts using Photoshop and laid them in various positions to see how they related to each other as the whipstaff pivoted, the tiller arm swung, and the rudder turned. Notice that, as you can see in the Goodwin drawing, the whipstaff is not fixed to the rowle that it pivots in, but it slides through the hole in the rowle so it can reach the end of the tiller arm as it swings side to side. This is the key to my thinking. I took the plan view and superimposed the drawing of the tiller arm in various positions, offset 6, 13 and 21 degrees from center. (Although I have read that in practice the rudder would not be deflected more than about 15 degrees. After that it loses its grip on the water.) I combined this layout with the cross section view of the whipstaff stave and decks. In use, as the tiller arm swings, its end moves further and further from the rowle, requiring that more and more of the whipstaff slides through the hole in the rowle, shortening the length above the rowle. In almost all positions other than perfectly upright it does not extend up to, much less through, the deck above. So rather than a long, dangerous, slot in the deck above, all that is needed is a little opening, like the hood pictured in the Goodwin drawing. This has the added advantage of bringing the helmsman's head up one deck for easier communications and so he can see the set of the sails as they draw. It keeps his body down near the rowle so he can manage the staff as it lengthens and shortens as it pivots and slides. No slot required. Thoughts? Dan

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